Burns going on road trip, Boyle on meds
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SAN JOSE – Sharks defenseman Brent Burns will be on the team’s upcoming six-game road trip, and an internal target date for his return could come as soon as Thursday afternoon.

Head coach Todd McLellan gave the most detailed medical update on Burns that we’ve heard so far, after Thursday's practice at Sharks Ice. Burns skated with the team for the full hour and 15 minutes.

“He looks excited, he looks like he’s getting closer,” McLellan said. “It’s nice to see him with the team, and also, to be fair to him, he looks like he hasn’t played yet. We’re going to have those growing pains. I think he’s got to come in when it’s time, and come in with a lot of confidence, because he’s a skilled and talented player. But, he’s also got to understand that it's going to have to be a simple game to start with. He’s 10 games behind, it’s Feb. 7 and he hasn’t played since April of last year. It will take some time.”

McLellan mentioned at the pregame skate in Anaheim on Monday that the team would pick a date for Brent’s return shortly. The head coach, defenseman and Sharks medical staff were all set to meet later on Thursday, and potentially come up with that date. Regardless of when he plays, Burns will continue to be with the team at all times.

“Even if he’s not ready to play, he’ll be on the road trip. He’s got to start training himself and preparing like he is playing,” McLellan said. “There isn’t any catch up time available. It’s not like we’re playing 82 games and you get to come back in October and work your way in. There isn’t time to catch up, so he’s got to do that on his own. If he’s not playing, he’ll still be in every meeting and approaching game day like he normally would.”

Burns, who had offseason groin and sports hernia surgery, remained tight lipped about his progress.

“Just working hard every day,” he said. “Same [stuff] every day. Just working to get back whenever I can. It’s a process, ya know?”

Burns said previously that when he shaves his bushy beard, it’s a sign that he’s ready to play. On Thursday, he still looked like he hadn’t seen a razor in months.

Boyle on meds
Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle has had quite a bout with the flu, missing two of the last five games. He missed Monday’s game in Anaheim but returned for Tuesday’s home game with Chicago.

He may appreciate the rare three-day break between games than anyone else on the Sharks’ roster.

“I’m just getting out of it. I should be good. Another couple days of antibiotics, and I should be fine,” Boyle said after practicing.

He went into further detail about what he dealt with on Monday, after traveling with the team to Southern California the day before.

“I woke up the day of the game and I had like, almost vertigo,” he said. “I was dizzy, just from my sinuses and my nose and ears, and my balance was off. I’m on antibiotics now, finally. It was probably one of the worst flus I’ve ever experienced, in that it just absolutely kicked my ass for the week.”